A Project With Shadows of Doubt

A Project With Shadows of Doubt

Well, I had this great idea to feature a uniquely crafted work of art in a shadow box…

And since there’s a little back story to go with it, I might as well share.

You see, my Mr. plays the flute. And he has a little collection of cool flutes, including this handmade pottery one from South America.

Now I’m not a snake lover at all, but I really do like this earthy, ancient feeling hand-made flute. So I insisted on displaying it… that is until one day it got bumped over and broke in half. I felt just awful.

So now, here’s the forever flaw we live with as a result.


The flute has been Crazy Glued back together. If there is any ‘luck’ in this story, then luckily it broke in half without a million little fragments breaking off too, and so the mend went well.

But as a result I got this idea to showcase the flute in a shadow box. That way we could continue to display it and enjoy it, while also protecting it from another unfortunate incident.

I thought the flute would look good on an angle.

But once the flute was secured into place, I wasn’t loving the way it looked so much. I tried to give it some context by quickly setting it up in a few different spots.

I layered it in front of this mirror over our fireplace…

As a vignette it would need more, but this gave me the basic idea. I’m not feeling super sold on this placement.

So I tried swapping out the Haegar vase to mix the flute in with these other aged pieces…

I would mount the shadow box on the wall rather than sit it on the table, but I’m still not loving the angle of the flute.

Then I tried this little set-up.

And, still not loving it.

My conclusion is the flute displayed on this angle is just wrong. It has a base for a reason, and I’m thinking it needs to stand upright in honour of that. But then I’m thinking the shadow box needs something more, because when the flute is standing upright, there’s just way too much white space. I’m kind of at a loss. This is where you come in.

Do you have any ideas for me? I’d honestly love your feedback!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

9 thoughts on “A Project With Shadows of Doubt”

  • I think i might try some scrapbook paper in the background….or/and a torn paper that would look like ancient parchment paper. Perhaps the scrapbook paper could be music sheets….aged the paper with tea or with some of the rub-ons….(i have some if you need it :)) Love the flute and your other aged pieces.

  • Oh that little flute is just charming! My daughter plays the flute and just loves it! You could line the inside of the frame with burlap and then stand the flute straight up? You could also add some nail heads all around the inside edge, giving it sort of an added layer like a matt does with regular framed art? I can feel your pain here…!! Good luck and can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  • I was thinking put some kind of texture behind it, a piece of fabric that coordinates and stand it up like Shelley said. Maybe a different color than white?

    It’s a neat little piece. I love having those in the home, the make such special little touches.

  • is the box tall enough to display the flute upright to the left and then put two smaller items related to it on the right? I love the flute and the meaning it has to you but I agree it looks just slightly lonely.

  • I am with Jessica about some texture behind it. I would even go with a larger more rectangular shadow box. I like the white space. I just find the angle of it looks a little bit – well, head is in the gutter 😉

    I think with a nice linen and a rectangular box it would and lined up horizontally it would look fabulous!

  • Maybe try to put another one in there or just place it on your coffee table (in the box) I love it when there are interesting things to look at while at someone’s home. It’s really cool.

  • I would try a more rectangular box to go with the standing impression you want then decorate the background with something from where it is made from… keep it simple.

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